Just when you thought your day couldn’t possibly get any worse…

Back in AD 79, the jumping little town of Pompeii sat on the Campanile coast of Italy, near Naples, in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.  The town had experienced an earthquake in the recent past and the citizenry were in the midst of the laborius rebuilding process when the volcano erupted and their day got infinitely worse.  Whether they were killed by the immediate blast of superheated air, or by the poisonous gasses that flowed down the mountainside, or by the 75 feet of ash that rained down over the next six hours…the end result was the same.  Flash forward to rediscovery in 1748, when diggers first started coming across voids in the ash that contained human (and other) remains.  It wasn’t until the clever Giuseppe Fiorelli took charge of the excavation in 1860 that anyone thought to inject plaster into the voids to reveal…that long, last goodbye.  While plaster casts of people and even dogs are to be found in museums, this lonely guy was sitting under an open shed on the grounds, head in hands and forever frozen in a biorhythmic triple low.  (15 September, 2006  Pompeii, Italy)

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